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Voice of America, 99-08-03

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: International agencies say relief supplies urgently needed in Kosovo are being held up in Macedonia. Gordon Martin in Geneva reports the aid agencies say Macedonian authorities are seeking to levy heavy inspection fees on trucks crossing the country.

    TEXT: Officials say the standoff between such groups as the U-N refugee agency and Macedonian authorities comes at a critical time. Nearly 90-percent of the more than 850-thousand Kosovo refugees who fled the province have returned, and many are in urgent need of food and medical help. And, with the harsh Balkan winter not far off, time is running out for the start of construction and repair work on houses and other buildings. But, the Macedonian government has imposed a levy of 348-dollars on each truck or railroad freight car bringing Refugee Agency or Red Cross relief aid. The aid agencies are refusing to pay, and there is now a big backlog of aid vehicles in the Macedonian capital, Skopje. Refugee agency spokesman Kris Janowski says 86-trucks carrying more than 34-hundred tons of aid are blocked in Skopje, along with 17-railroad cars with 850-tons of timber. Another 28-railroad cars carrying timber are expected in the next 10-days. He says all this aid is needed now to make sure that hundreds of thousands of people are able to repair their homes before the arrival of winter.

    /// JANOWSKI ACT ///

    Prior to the imposition of the fee, we were sending on the average 20 to 25-trucks a day across the Blace border crossing into Kosovo. Now, it is all backed up essentially. If we were able to pay the fee -- which we find is exorbitant and totally out of proportion to the service rendered -- we would have to pay some 200- thousand-dollars a month, just to pay for the inspection of the trucks.

    /// END ACT ///

    The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has halted a daily run of five or six-trucks into Kosovo in protest of the customs levy. Spokeswoman Amanda Williamson says the Red Cross is drawing on existing stocks in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, but these now are badly depleted. She says the Red Cross has tents stranded in Skopje that are desperately needed in Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/GM/JWH/RAE 03-Aug-1999 12:23 PM EDT (03-Aug-1999 1623 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Imprisoned Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan has called for members of his outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, the P-K-K, to lay down their arms and withdraw outside the borders of Turkey for what he termed -- the sake of peace. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports Ocalan made his call (Tuesday) through his lawyers.

    TEXT: In a statement read by his lawyers, Ocalan called for his separatist guerrilla group to halt its attacks beginning September First. He said this would help end, what he termed -- the deadlocked Kurdish problem and pave the way for its solution through democratic and peaceful means. Analysts say his call constitutes a crucial test of just how much influence he exerts over the P-K-K in the wake of his capture by Turkish special agents in Kenya last February. Ocalan's call came within hours of a fresh rebel attack against villagers in the southeastern Silvan township. Six villagers were killed when the rebels opened fire at a minibus carrying them back from a field to their homes. Ocalan's call comes just days ahead of the 15th anniversary of the launch of his armed campaign for an independent Kurdish state on August 15th 1984. Ocalan was condemned to death in June by a Turkish court for founding and leading the P-K-K. The Turkish Parliament needs to approve the death sentence before it can be carried out. The sentence is being appealed by Ocalan's lawyers. Turkey says it cannot and will not negotiate with, what it terms -- a terrorist" movement and its ringleader. But many of the most hawkish of Turkish commentators have said the government should accept Ocalan's offer -- made during his trial in June -- to help end the Kurdish conflict which has claimed more than 30-thousand lives. Sources close to the rebels say there is little prospect the P-K-K will end its armed fight, no matter what its leader says -- unless the Turkish government responds to the Kurds' demands for greater cultural and linguistic rights. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/RAE 03-Aug-1999 10:40 AM EDT (03-Aug-1999 1440 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Spain is considering a Chilean request to submit to international arbitration the extradition case against former Chilean ruler Augosto Pinochet. The former general is under house detention in Britain awaiting his extradition trial to get underway next month. London Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports Spain wants Mr. Pinochet tried for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during his 17-year rule in Chile.

    TEXT: Spain's foreign minister told state radio the government had received Chile's request and would consider it. But he said the position of the government is unchanged. Spain says the Pinochet case is in the hands of the courts. But a leading Madrid newspaper reports the government may consult a top council for advice. Chile wants Spain to agree to bilateral arbitration, which could end up finding that Spain has no jurisdiction over over alleged crimes committed in Chile. If Spain accepted such a decision, the Pinochet extradition case could be dropped and the 83- year-old former general could go home. A Spanish judge wants the former Chilean ruler prosecuted for human rights abuses after he seized power in a bloody coup in 1973. (signed)
    NEB/LMK/PCF 03-Aug-1999 08:16 AM EDT (03-Aug-1999 1216 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Tuesday) with heavy selling of internet-related stocks. VOA Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand 677, up 31 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13 hundred 22, down six points. The NASDAQ index lost one and one-half percent. Many Internet-related stocks were down sharply as traders took profits in anticipation of higher interest rates. The stocks of on-line investment firms were especially hard hit after an analyst said the firms will soon see a decline in trading volume.

    /// OPTIONAL ///

    Ted Weisberg of the Seaport Securities Company says the downward move in technology stocks seems to be gathering momentum.

    /// WEISBERG ACT ///

    There has been a lot of damage done in the technology sector. I suspect that group continues to be over-owned by the public and there is probably a lot of unhappiness and we are seeing the downward move in a lot of stocks that are tech or tech-related.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// END OPT ///

    Until recently, a "dot com" in a company's name was almost guaranteed to mean success in the stock market. But that does not appear to be the case right now. Two Internet firms, Quotesmith dot com and Flowers dot com, began trading stock on Tuesday. Both stocks promptly fell below their initial offering prices.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Hershey Foods Corporation, one of the world's largest candy manufacturers, is raising its stock dividend by eight percent. The company recently reported a six- and-one-half percent gain in quarterly earnings. The British American Tobacco Company - or BAT -- is offering almost seven billion dollars to buy all of the Imasco Corporation of Canada. BAT, which currently owns 42 percent of Imasco, says it will sell-off the company's financial services and retailing businesses while retaining Imperial Tobacco, which controls almost 70-percent of the Canadian tobacco market. Daimler-Chrysler, the German-American automaker, reported a 10-percent gain in U-S sales last month. The Ford Motor Company said its U-S sales gained four percent in July. Ford could be facing labor troubles over the possible spin-off of its Visteon parts division into a separate company. The United Autoworkers Union is concerned about wages and job security at Visteon, and some union leaders are warning that a failure to obtain reassurances about Visteon could cause a strike against Ford. (signed) NEB/BA/LSF/TVM/gm 03-Aug-1999 17:17 PM EDT (03-Aug-1999 2117 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: The issue of President Clinton's character is very much back in the news as the result of a new and revealing magazine interview by Mrs. Clinton published this week. In it she discusses her husband's sexual indiscretions, the reasons for it, and how she has dealt with the scandal this past year. The interview, in the new magazine "Talk", has reopened a somewhat sordid chapter of the Clinton presidency that many in the nation would just as soon put behind them. And in the editorial columns, that sentiment, as well as several others, is discussed as we learn now, from _____________ who joins up with some samples in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: Journalist Lucinda Franks says she talked with her friend Hillary Clinton for about five months to persuade her to do a candid interview about the sexual scandal that rocked the presidency and put enormous stress on their marriage. Now the interview is causing a considerable amount of news itself, and President Clinton's spokesman was asked about it at Monday's White House briefing. The president is said to be `comfortable' with his wife's views. Basically, Mrs. Clinton blames her husband's serial adultery and other character flaws, on an early and dysfunctional family life. Since Mrs. Clinton is running for the U-S Senate from New York State, there is considerable speculation about whether her motives for making these very personal disclosures are more political than personal. We begin with the view from Cleveland, Ohio, as embodied in these comments from "Plain Dealer" columnist Elizabeth Auster.

    VOICE: Well, of course, Bill is a bad boy. But does Hillary really have to punish him in public? Has not anyone ever told her that it is nicer to discipline bad boys in private? Apparently not. . As if we really need to know that Hillary thinks Bill was abused as a child - - a choice little nugget he has never chosen to disclose. As if we really need to know that she thinks he has tried hard to be a better boy, but not hard enough. . As if all this sharing is supposed to make Hillary more attractive. Maybe nobody told Hillary Rodham Clinton: If there is one thing less attractive than a compulsive sinner, it is a person who acts smugly superior to sinners. This [idea] she does not seem to get (understand).

    TEXT: In the East, "The Philadelphia Inquirer" says it has had quite enough of the Clinton's sexual escapades and apologies.

    VOICE: Mrs. Clinton's remarks struck us as so tacky and defensive, her armchair psychological profile of her husband so silly, that they will only serve to raise from the dead an issue that most Americans really, truly want to go away. . Bill Clinton's troubled childhood cannot be made the scapegoat for every flaw in his character. Sad that his wife continues to indulge this line of reason. But that is their business. We have had enough of it.

    TEXT: In New York, where Mrs. Clinton would like to be the next U-S Senator, we read this in Long Island's largest daily, "Newsday".

    VOICE: . this is not about life -- or love or the nature of forgiveness. It is about politics. [Mrs.] Clinton did a shrewd thing, finding a sympathetic forum to address what has become an embarrassing issue. Now, when the unsavory topic pops up as she campaigns to be a U-S senator from New York, [Mrs.] Clinton can say she has already addressed it. More, because Bill Clinton has been `working on himself very hard in the last year,' perhaps voters may decide that he has redeemed himself enough to become a New Yorker. That is all very well for the Clintons. But pity the rest of us.

    TEXT: Mrs. Clinton gets very little sympathy for her views of her husband from the West Coast's "The San Francisco Chronicle":

    VOICE: So Bill Clinton is the product of a dysfunctional family, the victim of a nasty household tug of war, and the end result of a scarred, unresolved childhood. This according to his wife, in yet another unsettling twist in the Clinton scandal. Hillary Clinton offered her psychoanalysis of the president while discussing his serial philandering. The remarks have stirred a storm of reaction ..If her remarks were a campaign stunt, the strategy is a puzzle. The country is sick of the subject. So why bring it up?

    TEXT: In Portland, "The Oregonian" takes this approach to the topic, suggesting:

    VOICE: All over Washington and New York today, representatives of other countries, charged with reporting the situation in the United States to their governments, are trying to explain the first lady's comments about the president to the folks back home. Whatever secrets foreign powers have stolen from America in the past, we have got them baffled now. Maybe it makes more sense in Farsi. In the first issue of ."Talk" . Hillary Clinton speaks . about her marriage and relationship with her husband. . It is, no doubt, the most remarkable interview ever given by a first lady.

    TEXT: From the Midwest, "The Detroit News" is skeptical of Mrs. Clinton's assessment.

    VOICE: Of course. That must be it. It was all the fault of mom and grandma. Otherwise, we would be left merely with a .president who, despite repeated statements to the contrary, refuses to accept the responsibility for his disgraceful behavior.

    TEXT: Lastly, "The Houston Chronicle" sounds disgusted by the whole affair, as it notes:

    VOICE: The nation has been asked for months to endure the prevarications and . sordid details of the president's carryings-on, and the most tortured rantings of his defenders . Let us just say we are exhausted by this mess .

    TEXT: That concludes today's look at editorial comment from some U-S daily newspapers.
    NEB/ANG/RAE 03-Aug-1999 13:41 PM EDT (03-Aug-1999 1741 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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